Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! by Dave Cousins
|Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! by Dave Cousins|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A strikingly different kind of story compared to the first in the series, this should still appeal to many with its brisk, humorous narrative.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: June 2015|
|Publisher: OUP Oxford|
|External links: Author's website|
What is that saying, about the best laid plans of mice and misfits gang aft agley? Charlie and his fondly thought of friends in the soccer squad we met last time are hoping for a simple trip to a summer camp for a week's educative training. But no, their dopey manager has booked them in to a survival camp by mistake. Instead of hitting the back of the net they're building tarpaulin shelters. They can't set any watching footie-heads ablaze, for they have to spark their own fires at night. They can still score, however, as there's a points-based competition to hand, but now that Charlie has dropped his team in the proverbial, they're once more really up against it…
Seeing as the first book was so much about football – the subject hardly veered away from the story of the team for one second – it was a real surprise to see this first sequel go so completely off-kilter. The book reviewing gods hardly gave the game away to me, at least, meaning I was surprised from the off. (Young readers might be, too, but even they may find some of the opening scenes – someone getting left behind on the coach trip, etc – a little predictable.) This only really works in the book's favour, however, for even a single repeat of the unlikely arc of failure to success met with last time would have stretched things. This smacks much more of a story being told that the author wants to tell, and not contractual obligation to give us more of the same.
And it's quite a fun story, to say the least. Again there are patches where things are sailing too close to predictable, but come the half time orange we're steeling ourselves for a second half where anything can, and does, happen. The book maintains the previous form, of breaking into fully-fledged comic strip, or detailing other elements in much more pictorial ways, but while the visual focus is high the word count is not necessarily low. I thought those words could be improved a couple of times – at points I was aware that the comedy was of the knockabout, almost slapstick fashion that the reader had to form in their imagination, when other authors might more successfully get it on to the page. But on the whole the book was a great success. Speckled with real survival tips, for those moments when one decides to join in, take their socks off and use them to strain some running water they might happen to have nearby, it's a brisk and bouncy read, and for the right audience – I would guess at a large one – real back of the net stuff.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The Last Wild by Piers Torday has become a brilliant trilogy, ideal for all those who care about adventuring, the world ecology – or even just sitting indoors burning the midnight oil with a superb read.
You can read more book reviews or buy Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! by Dave Cousins at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! by Dave Cousins at Amazon.com.
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